Drawn by the allure of internet fame and Instagram attention, some Georgetown University students have found their niche online by posting the food they make and eat. Whether they are making the dishes themselves or using their account to review local restaurants, the foodstagrams of the Georgetown community are diverse in both content and flavor.
Many students have developed a skill and a social media presence by cooking out of their common rooms and posting their creations to Instagram. Milan Rosen (COL ’23) started his baking account @thesweetspot2019 as part of a project during his senior year of high school, and later started to post his recipes from college.
The account features creative photos of his desserts with witty captions. He has learned more than just baking technique, however, from his experience maintaining his account, according to Rosen.
“I definitely try to one-up myself every time I do a new post. It also helped a lot with photography,” Rosen said in an interview with The Hoya. “I had no experience with that whatsoever, and I realized there’s a big difference between looking at something and posting it online. That disparity made me want to get better at photography.”
In spite of the skills he has developed through his account, Rosen does not see his foodstagram as anything more than a fun project on the side of his busy life. When they are not taken too seriously, food accounts can be fun creative outlets, according to Rosen.
“For me, I bake regardless of whether I’m going to post it or not. Hopefully it will be something that I wind up coming back to over the course of my life, but not necessarily a full-time thing,” Rosen said.
Rosen has a distinct perspective because he exclusively posts things he invents himself.
“At least for me, a lot of the stuff I make hasn’t really been made before, because I create my own recipes. I think that’s something new and interesting, instead of just posting something that somebody out there has probably already gotten,” Rosen said.
By contrast, Sandy Yun (SFS ’23) uses her account @hoyasnaxy__ to post only pictures of food she eats in the Washington, D.C. area. Each post on her account features a vibrant picture of her meal paired with a caption that includes the name of the restaurant and Yun’s review of the food and ambience at each location.
Yun created her foodstagram after she came to college and realized that living in D.C. provided her with a special opportunity to experience new cuisines and different cultural foods. Her motivation for creating the account rose from a desire to share her cultural exploration with her community and the world. Yun prefers to share online the meals that she eats out because she can talk about more than just the food, she wrote in a message to The Hoya.
“I believe it has more interactive and communicative potential with the audience just because sharing a restaurant draws attention to the community in which the restaurant is located,” Yun wrote.
Yun has gained more from her foodstagram than she originally imagined she would.
“The biggest lesson has been my growing awareness of the fact that putting my pictures ‘out there’ online means I become responsible for what I post and possible reactions that may come with my actions. I think I became more conscious of what I say in the posts and it pushes me to be more honest and objective,” Yun wrote.
As fun as these accounts may be for the students who run them, their foodstagrams also require them to recognize they are sharing their opinions on a public platform and their content has an impact beyond their own diets.
“I see my foodstagram as both a long-term project and something I do for fun because I believe it will help me explore more of the neighborhood I belong to in terms of not just food but also the social and recreational aspects,” Yun wrote. “I hope my audience gets to feel the enjoyment I feel from my food exploration, and I will try to make sure the account stays informative.”
Sharing and eating good and aesthetically pleasing food with their foodstagrams is the central goal of Rosen’s and Yun’s accounts. Rosen is particularly proud of the apple rose pie he made and posted, and Yun’s favorite restaurants she has reviewed so far have been Abunai Poke and Pitango Gelato.
Foodstagrams, especially those run by college students, benefit creators and viewers. Whether it is users learning from their own posts or followers drooling over their sumptuous creations, these accounts make people’s feeds a little less hungry.